On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Defective Products on Friday, December 18, 2015.
A company with hundreds of millions of dollars in sales from its hair care products is defending some of those products in a class action lawsuit filed by 200 women from 40 states, including six women from New York. The defendants include Chaz Dean, the celebrity hairstylist, and Guthy-Renker, the marketing company that specializes in pervasive infomercial campaigns to promote its products. The product liability suit charges that the plaintiffs have suffered hair loss, baldness, scalp irritations and other damaging results from using certain WEN hair products.
The complaint alleges that some WEN products contain a "caustic ingredient" that damages the hair. That reportedly may be a product that is banned in Europe, which is known as hydroxycitronella. Additionally, a plaintiff's legal representative stated to a television news program that the problem appears to be that the product has no cleansers in it.
She stated that the lack of cleansers is akin to washing the hair with lotion, which does not fully rinse off but gets lodged in the hair follicles, causing eventual damage. Online pages show images of women showing their bald spots and clumps of hair lying in sink drains, along with shocking testimonials of their nightmarish experiences. Proving the charges will be the major task of plaintiffs because the first thing to show in a product liability case is that the product is defective.
In product liability law, if a plaintiff can prove that a product is defective, that the defect caused injury and that the product was being used as directed, there may be a determination of liability without regard to proving a manufacturer's negligence. There are other facets of the strict liability doctrine, however, and the matter is best discussed in consultation with an experienced product liability attorney. The law in New York and all other states is generally the same or similar regarding the evidentiary elements that must be proved to establish a claim for damages from a defective product.
Source: racked.com, "Popular Infomercial Hair Product Line Under Fire for Allegedly Causing Hair Loss", Adele Chapin, Dec. 14, 2015
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